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Covid cases in Kent continue to rise but seven areas virtually free of virus

Seven neighbourhoods in Kent remain virtually Covid-free despite infection rates soaring across the county.

The spread of the Delta variant has led to a number of outbreaks, with almost 3,000 new cases in the most recent week - 1,069 more than the week before.

The white areas denote those with two or fewer new cases in a week - purple areas have the highest rate
The white areas denote those with two or fewer new cases in a week - purple areas have the highest rate

But small pockets of the county are still recording next to no positive tests.

Public Health England data shows eight areas have had two or fewer new cases in the latest week.

All are in the east of the county, where Kent's lowest infection rates are being recorded.

Thanet is performing best and has three areas with two or fewer cases - Westgate, Broadstairs North, and Westwood, Northwood & Bromstone.

Further south along the coast there are two in Dover - Ash and Wingham, and Kingsdown and St Margaret's-at-Cliffe - and one in Folkestone and Hythe - Lydd and Dungeness.

The final area almost free of Covid is Herne Bay South and Greenhill in Canterbury - a district which is also home to the two neighbourhoods with Kent's highest rates - Blean Forest, Chartham Hatch & University, and Canterbury St Stephen's.

Their respective rates of 650 and 503 - which are well above the national average of 287 - are largely down to a recent Covid outbreak at the University of Kent.

Only two other areas in Kent have a rate above 400 - Marden in Maidstone and Southborough West in Tunbridge Wells.

Despite cases across Kent rising by 55% in a week, the number of people in the county's hospital's with Covid remains extremely low.

This is almost certainly because most new cases in the county are being seen in those aged 20-24, who are less likely to have been vaccinated, but also to fall seriously ill with the virus.

On Tuesday there were just 16 patients with Covid in Kent's hospitals - five more than the week before.

Seven of them were at hospitals run by the Dartford and Gravesham Trust.

At the same time, there have been two recorded Covid deaths in Kent and Medway this month.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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